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Posts Tagged ‘The Cross’

In need of Your light Lord;
my life is such a mess.
Without it there’s no hope Lord;
of this I must confess.

Show me what to do Lord;
I’m ready to listen now.
My way didn’t work Lord;
would you please show me how?

Didn’t intend to forsake You Lord,
but I guess that’s what I’ve done;
one thing then another Lord,
till there’s little of the One.

Forgive me of my wrong Lord;
come and light my way.
Show me what to do Lord;
hear these words I pray.

Help me as I start Lord;
often please remind.
Show me everyday Lord;
life as You designed.

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I read where ‘Paul, as his custom was, went into the synagogue and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead’.

I thought about his audience; they were Jews.  For as long as they could remember, they had been taught that the Christ would come as a king.  Understandably, they had trouble accepting that this lowly Jesus was the one they were looking for.  In spite of the fact that ‘God had accredited Him by the miracles He was able to perform’, and then further accrediting Him by raising Him from the dead, many, just simply, were still not buying it.  And so Paul and the other church leaders of the day spent much of their persuasive energy trying to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.

But what about today?  We, for the most part, have been taught that for as long as we can remember.  We don’t need to be convinced.  We already believe it.  Somewhere though, there has been some kind of breakdown.  To varying degrees, our believing has just become a part of all the other stuff we believe.  It doesn’t occupy the space within us through which and from which all other stuff flows.  We have given it its spot, or corner, and we call on it or take it out occasionally when it seems appropriate or beneficial.

Today, with this kind of believing, many are still able to shack up, overindulge, speak with foul language, use crude humor, watch inappropriate movies, listen to inappropriate music and read inappropriate books and magazines; all contrary to the principals of the One in whom we believe, yet all coexisting semi comfortably.

Today’s gospel is not so much that we should believe; we already do.  We need to be convinced that if we believe it should change the way we live.  It’s not enough to believe ‘in’ God; we need to believe God.  We need to believe what He said – know what He said – and then adjust our lives to align with what He said.  It is not living as we please; it is living as would please Him.

No matter where we are, there will always be room for improvement; I have plenty.  But I believe, overall, there is much room to become more acquainted and committed to the things that please the God in whom we believe.  Conversely, I believe there is much room to become more acquainted and committed to the things that displease Him.  This, I believe, is the gospel we need to hear and be convinced of today.

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There is a cross located near the western border of southern Illinois.  It is the tallest cross in the western hemisphere at 111 feet.  At night, when lit, the cross can be seen for 7500 square miles and has attracted visitors from all over the world.  The idea was conceived in 1937 when two ministers wondered of a place where believers of different denominations could worship together.

I had heard from a piece of property I was on in Missouri, just 20 miles away, that the cross could be seen.  One day, while at the best vantage point possible – standing on top of a chimney 30 feet above ground – I looked toward the cross but could not see it.  The thought came to mind, which I yelled for all to hear was, ‘I can’t see the cross from here’.

Later that day, the owner of the property told me that that would make a good story line, and now 6 months later, the application has come to me. 

Even from the best vantage point possible, I could not see the cross.  I wondered and was challenged recently by the same thought in relation to the people I associate with.  From the vantage point they have, will they be able to say the same of me?  How far out does the cross that is supposed to govern my life, project?  Can others even see it?

It has become a thought that is etched in my mind – both the negative and positive version.  I don’t want people to be able to say of me, ‘I can’t see the cross from here’, and then conversely I am challenged by the thought to make sure my actions do reflect the cross and that by it being visible, people would be attracted to it.

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